Today was fun! I had no idea it would be fun, but the fun came anyway!

Normally, the people like to rest on Sunday, fine by me. But today when I woke up I was surprised to see the place was packed. Folks from every village were here, and not just the dudes, whole families. The strange thing, though, was the constant “thwak, thwak, thwak” droning in in the distance. I asked one of the leaders about it and he said they were cutting down trees to make it easier for the helicopter. “We have chainsaws,” I pointed out to him. He gave me a look that said, “No kidding I’ve only been following you about with them for the last week,” then he said (roughly translated), “we have teenagers!” Sure enough, with all the villages gathered what possy of young guys wouldn’t love free reign to cut down any tree they wanted? Especially with our nice axes we brought in!

I told them there was no need to take this tree down. They didn’t need a reason though.

So I went about sharpening a chain when one of the guys came to me and said, “Rhett, we want to dig.” After a moment I realized he was talking about the new helicopter pad we were going to build, so we went out with a string level and pointed out the hill that needed to be taken down. So the day of rest began with the young guys indiscriminately chopping trees down and the somewhat older guys removing a hill from existence.

After that, my dad and I got started putting bearers on my house posts.

We didn’t get far before some ladies came to us and said it was time to kill the pigs. Now I knew why there was so many people here! Sure enough, down by the food shack there were two pigs tied to post just waiting for us to witness their sacrifice.

You can guess what happens next

So it turns out, today was just a party day!

A fun side story: a guy came and showed me two eggs he had brought, each large enough to fill a hand. He said the bird that lays these eggs lives in the lower altitude (where he is from). He had stalked this bird on and off for the last few days since he noticed it had started building its nest. Yesterday the bird finally laid the eggs so he gathered them up for us to try. He roasted them for us and, no exaggeration, they were the best eggs I’ve ever tasted!

“What about the rest of the week?” you might ask. Well, I’m glad you might have asked that because now I’ll tell you! We’ve been delayed by rain, chainsaw issues, and just being in the mountains but I think we are still off to a good start. We’re starting to produce normal sized lumber, such as 2×4’s, which are a lot easier to handle. Yesterday, we didn’t had a drop of rain (unless you count the walk home) and we had all three saws running so I think that bodes well. What’s more, I’m optimistic that as we are now working with smaller pieces we’ll see our productivity go up! Please keep us in your prayers!

Steve looking anxious as we wait for the the rain to finish one morning
Sometimes we can beat the rain and mill under a tarp
Mountain milling
The most ergonomically friendly log I’ve come across (no hunched back for this cut)
Our haul midway through the week
Categories: EnglishStous


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